(1) For the purposes of ss. 624.436-624.446, the term “multiple-employer welfare arrangement” means an employee welfare benefit plan or any other arrangement which is established or maintained for the purpose of offering or providing health insurance benefits or any other benefits described in s. 624.33, other than life insurance benefits, to the employees of two or more employers, or to their beneficiaries.
(2) No person shall operate, maintain, or, after October 1, 1983, establish a multiple-employer welfare arrangement unless such arrangement has a valid certificate of authority issued by the office.
(3) This section does not apply to a multiple-employer welfare arrangement which offers or provides benefits which are fully insured by an authorized insurer, to an arrangement which is exempt from state insurance regulation in accordance with Pub. L. No. 93-406, the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, or to the state group health insurance program administered pursuant to s. 110.123.
(4)(a) Any person failing to hold a subsisting certificate of authority from the office while operating or maintaining a multiple-employer welfare arrangement shall be subject to a fine of not less than $5,000 or more than $100,000 for each violation.
(b) Any person who operates or maintains a multiple-employer welfare arrangement without a subsisting certificate of authority from the office shall be subject to the cease and desist penalty powers of the office as set forth in ss. 626.9571, 626.9581, 626.9591, and 626.9601. (c)1. Any person who operates or maintains a multiple-employer welfare arrangement without a subsisting certificate of authority as required under this section commits a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083. 2. Except as provided in subparagraph 1., any person who violates the provisions of ss. 624.437-624.446 commits a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083. (d) In addition to the penalties and other enforcement provisions of the Florida Insurance Code, the office is vested with the power to seek both temporary and permanent injunctive relief when:
1. A multiple-employer welfare arrangement is being operated by any person or entity without a subsisting certificate of authority.
2. Any person, entity, or multiple-employer welfare arrangement has engaged in any activity prohibited by the Florida Insurance Code or by any rule adopted pursuant thereto.
3. Any multiple-employer welfare arrangement, person, or entity is renewing, issuing, or delivering a policy, contract, certificate, summary plan description, or other evidence of the benefits and coverages provided to employees or employee family members without a subsisting certificate of authority.
The office’s authority to seek injunctive relief shall not be conditioned on having conducted any proceeding pursuant to chapter 120. The authority vested in the office by virtue of the operation of this section shall not act to reduce any other enforcement remedy or power to seek injunctive relief that may otherwise be available to the office.